Success Through Celebrating Small Wins

The other day I was running through my schedule and checklist for the day. Suddenly, I had a moment of enlightenment that struck me like a shock from a 9V battery. For the past week I’d been checking off huge milestones that were bringing me closer and closer to my larger goal. These were small wins I wasn’t even realizing because I was so entranced with accomplishing tasks as they came up. Our success in achieving our large goal is based on celebrating these small wins.

A Little Background

I’ll lay a foundation here that brought me to this point. I have a pretty awesome system in place for making sure that I’m always making progress in whatever venture I’m working on. I set the big “I want to do this” goal, which is usually a crazy outlandish idea. Then, I test it by breaking it down into realistic bunches; years, months, weeks, days, and hours to see if it’s actually attainable. If it passes the test I move forward. (This is a VERY simplified version of the process for the sake of explanation.) I then plan the schedule of events and attack.

Now, in this process I have milestones; benchmarks, if you will, of progress points that move me past a big obstacle. Well, lately I’ve been checking a lot of these off but not really taking the time to give myself a pat on the back for making it past those hurdles. I wasn’t celebrating my small wins and the more I thought about it the more I realized I was in danger of jeopardizing future progress if I didn’t take time to acknowledge these small successes. Let me explain.

Chemical Motivation

The act of celebrating and acknowledging our small wins helps us in multiple ways. First, it keeps us motivated in the direction of our larger goal. Your brain releases special chemical when you reward yourself for an accomplishment. It might be something as simple as taking a walk or watching a movie when you normally wouldn’t.

This release of dopamine gives our brains the signal to do the action again to receive another reward. Therefore, propelling us forward towards our big goal. It gives us appreciation for the place we’ve moved past, creates successful future habits, and keeps us in the present moment. It also increases our confidence the we can then leverage towards the larger success.

Creating Success in Habits

Successful habits equal success. We all know creating and changing habits can be hard because our minds find it difficult to adapt to new routines. Acknowledging and celebrating the small wins are how we help ourself establish the habits we need and to keep us going. Our brains need reinforcement so allowing ourself to be rewarded will develop an ‘addiction to progress’ that will cause our brains to want to carry on to the next steps.

Demotivation usually comes because we are unsure of how far we are to our goals. We sometimes blindly believe that the goal is still so far away when it could actually be just around the corner – something we will never know if we give up.

Keeps Us in the Present

We know that the importance of building a successful habit is achieved by staying in the present moment. Those moments build over time accumulate into small achievements that, when recognized, keeps us on task for the larger goal. If we are only focused on the large goal we lose focus on the small tasks that are actually bringing us to our larger achievement. On the other hand when we have too much focus on the small task we lose track of the larger picture we’re working towards. Celebrating our small wins keeps us focused on the present while acknowledging were getting closer to our ultimate goal.

For example, say you want to learn a new 10 minute dance routine. Practicing 2 additional choreographed steps today won’t bring you a whole lot closer to the 10 minute routine. However, the combination of practicing 2 steps per day for 30 days will bring you significantly closer. The 2 steps you’re working on today might seem insignificant, but over time you’ll be so much closer to your goal.

Small Wins Provide Appreciation

We are all guilty of playing down appreciation for what we have or what we’ve done in life. Stopping and appreciating our small wins can be the difference between failing and succeeding. When we ignore appreciation and thankfulness for those small successes we can easily lose sight of our larger goal or purpose. Celebrating the small stuff is us acknowledging that we are well on our way to success.

So, take some time to give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it. If you liked this article or have anything to add to it that I’m I might have forgotten let me know by sending me an email or commenting below. Always remember to share the love.

xo,

isabelle

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